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4 Simple Reasons You Lack Passion In What You Do

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Do you lack passion in what you do? Is it hard to find the passion in what you’re doing on a daily basis?

The first passions I ever discovered of mine was writing, creating, and music. Every Time I’ve stepped out of those realms, or the realms of my other passions, my happiness has suffered. And when your happiness suffers, the very thing you’re doing becomes frustrating, too much effort, a struggle, unexciting, and nothing more than a headache.

Not everything is or should be revolved around your passions, of course. Because not everything is a passion and some things are chores that need to be done out of necessity.

When it comes to career, business, activities, skills, and your professional life, there are 4 simple reasons you lack passion in what you do:

1. You haven’t practiced enough

Think of somebody like Lil Wayne. He’s been making music from the age of 8 years old. Today he’s around 33 years old. Music is his passion. And that passion developed through relentless practice and effort. Repeated dozens and dozens and dozens of times throughout his 20+ year career.

Take a look at someone like Katy Perry. She started making music when she was 16 years old. The passion you see in her work and her voice when she sings is because of years and years of practice beforehand. No matter who you use as an example, practice is the reason their passion remains intact. Or the reason their passion grows to be so strong overtime.

The reason practice is a huge part of passion is because without practice, you won’t become better at your craft. And if you don’t become better at your craft, you won’t enjoy it very much. There’s no passion without enjoyment and no enjoyment without passion. And from personal experience, I know this to be true.

“I’ve always considered myself to be just average talent and what I have is a ridiculous insane obsessiveness for practice and preparation.” – Will Smith

2. You hate what you do

Think of someone you hate (if anybody) who’s betrayed you, hurt you, or done something terrible to you. If given the choice to be around them or NOT be around them, you’d obviously choose to avoid them, right? Because hate only creates more hate. There’s no fun in hate.

Well passion works in the exact same way. If you despise what you do and detest every minute of It, there’s no room for passion to grow, build, and develop. Because all that hatred is blocking the entrance to the door of passion.

There’s a couple of reasons you may hate what you do:

  1. You’re no good at It.
  2. You’re doing it out of necessity.
  3. You’re doing it because society has brainwashed you into believing you HAVE to do It.

The solution is simple and obvious. But you’re smart enough to figure it out.

 

3. You haven’t learnt enough about it

This point is similar to the point I made about practice. If you don’t know enough about what you’re doing, how to do It, or how it works, then you’re going to end up frustrated, irritated, disappointed and uninterested.

Knowledge, if you know how to use that knowledge, makes it easier to become passionate about what you’re doing. But at the same time if you know all there is to know, and you still don’t understand It, then it’s best to abandon it.

When I first started blogging for example, I started to learn a little about website code. I dabbled with it a little, spent hours trying to figure it out and understand it, but in the end I let it go.

Trying to read code is like trying to read Chinese writing. I don’t understand it, my brain shuts down, and that’s why I dislike it and no longer waste my time with it. But on the other hand learning about blogging and websites came fairly easy to me, and now I’m really passionate about blogging.

 

4. It doesn’t match your skillset

This comes down to self awareness. I know I’m awful at coding, football, basketball, designing, anything beyond basic mathematics, etc. So doing anything in those fields is bound to bring misery.

But I’m good at writing, creating, listening, observing, retail, and a range of other skills. So dwelling and diving in these areas is to my own benefit.

If what you’re doing doesn’t match your natural skills or talents in the slightest, and there’s no room for potential growth, you’re just wasting your time. And when your energy suffers, passion can’t exist and won’t exist.

“A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals.” – Larry Bird

Do an audit of your skills, talents, and areas where there’s potential for growth. Do an audit of the things you’re awful at doing. And be sure to shove your ego aside when you do so you can get real with yourself.

Are you lacking passion on your career? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Theo Ellis is a blogger, author, writer, and online retailer. Speaking on subjects such as confidence, personal development, he writes from personal experience to benefit the lives of others through justbereal.co.uk.

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Bee

    Apr 13, 2016 at 2:23 am

    Nice article Theo 🙂 Cheers

  2. Bee

    Apr 13, 2016 at 2:22 am

    Hi Theo, seriously, this is very well returned article and I enjoyed. I have been in corporate world for the past 16 years and I haven’t reached the peak yet and always on my plateau mode due to some reasons. Based my current status now I am guy who very interested in things that related to numbers compared to IT/Technology thingy. By hook or crook, this year will be my breakthrough year and will do the best i can to optimized my ull potential.
    again, nice article. Cheers buddy.

  3. Deepraj

    Apr 6, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    Very helpful to me. Without practice we can not go beyond the boundaries.
    Thank you

    • Theo Ellis

      Apr 7, 2016 at 10:49 am

      Hey Deepraj. Thanks for sharing. Practice makes a world of a difference.

      Glad you found it helpful 🙂 Stay blessed!

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Why Do We Have An Unconscious Bias and How Can We Manage It?

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When I hear someone using my name once in a while throughout the conversation we are having, I cannot stop myself thinking “this person must have read Dale Carnegie’s books or must have been influenced by someone who read them…” Have you just recalled a similar moment and it felt nice?

As Dale Carnegie famously said, “Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and the most important sound in any language”. Why did Dale Carnegie highlight the importance of an individual’s name to that person in his “How to Win Friends and Influence People” book published in 1936?

Each and every one of us wants to feel special and unique. I guess he recommends using the person’s name in the conversation because that is one of the easiest ways to grab that person’s attention so that we can enhance the chances of getting our point across. However, I am more interested in this from the other side; hearing our names directly addresses our individuality, our need or desire to feel special and unique.  

Let’s park this one for now and we will come back. 

Categorization is essential to our survival

There is countless scientific research telling us about how our brains recognize similarities and put things into categories, which has been crucial to our survival in evolution and still helps us with a lot of things from learning new things to coping with the continuous influx of massive amounts of information through our senses. 

The continuous influx of information is mostly handled by our subconscious mind rather than conscious. It is estimated that our brains receive about 11 million bits of information every second through our senses, of which only 40-50 bits can be processed by our conscious mind. We process more information than we are aware of. The magic here is the subconscious mind.

An example is when you are at a very loud party where you hear a lot of words flying around without you recognizing each one of them, then suddenly, you immediately catch it when you hear your name. Your subconscious had been processing all of those words, without your awareness, but informed your conscious mind when your name was out there because it was relevant to you.

In order to most effectively process this much information and inform the conscious mind with only the relevant ones, our subconscious employs categorization as one of its strategies.

When our ancestors encountered some deadly predators in the African savanna, their subconscious prompted their conscious mind to immediately fight or flight by categorizing the information gathered through their senses into “predator / life threat / take action”. Most probably we are not descendants of the ones that were frozen rather than fighting or flighting! 

Although it is a completely different situation, the same strategy applied in remembering lists. Let’s look at the below two lists.

  1. lion, eagle, shark, leopard, hawk, whale, panther, falcon and dolphin 
  2. lion, leopard, panther, eagle, hawk, falcon, shark, whale and dolphin

The second list is easy to remember because it is reordered into relevant groups even though the content of the both lists are identical.

Subconsciousness is the magic and categorization is one of its key strategies. It is essential to our survival, learning new skills and processing information as well as bringing back the information we had processed and stored. 

This amazing skill has its drawbacks

As a result of our brains’ categorization strategy, we also categorize people, especially if we don’t know them as well as our closest ones.

Imagine I am sitting at the table next to yours while you are having your favorite coffee and working on your computer or reading your novel at your neighborhood coffee shop. I stand up, very calmly grab your bag, and start walking away. Your reaction might be quite different depending on my outfit. It could be much more vocal and harsh if I have a dirty T-Shirt and a pair of torn jeans on. However, if I have some navy colored, 3-piece suit and well-pressed white button up shirt on, you might even say something like “Excuse me, you might have picked up my bag by mistake”. (There is an experiment done by social psychologists which reported similar results)

Similarly, I would not be surprised to hear that my co-worker’s spouse is very skilled and knowledgeable in English grammar and literature because he is an English teacher. However, I would not expect it from my co-worker herself because she is an outstanding chemical engineer.  

This is defined as unconscious bias or stereotyping, as a result of our subconscious brain’s categorization strategy. The outfit I have at the coffee shop impacts your response to my action, because it puts me into a different category in your mind depending on my outfit. My co-worker’s and her spouse’s backgrounds make me put them into different categories, which might mislead me sometimes.

Just like we categorize things, it is very natural that we categorize people.  

The key question here for me is; how do we truly treat people as individuals so that they feel unique, just like as they would want, while we know that our brains categorize people

We can overcome unconscious bias 

Leonard Mlodinow, in his enlightening book “Subliminal”, suggests that “if we are aware of our bias and motivated to overcome it, we can.” That doesn’t mean that we need to fight our brain’s categorization strategy. We just need to employ our conscious mind more when we are working or dealing with individuals. 

Our unconscious bias might tell us scientists are bunch of technical nerds who cannot understand abstract concepts that marketers are talking about or it might say that marketers are some daydreamers who need to be grounded by scientists to the real world all the time. I am an engineer and I love thinking in abstract terms and I worked with quite a lot of marketers who thought primarily in factual and concrete terms. 

Spending some effort to learn more about individuals will help overcome unconscious bias. Gathering more information and qualities about them will make it easier for us to treat them as individuals rather than a member of the category we put them in our minds. 

The moral of the story here is to recognize the fact that our brains do categorize, and it is essential; but also, to recognize that every individual wants to feel unique. When we appreciate these two and keep reminding them to ourselves, we are one step closer to figuring out our own way to overcome unconscious bias and treat people more like individuals. 

What was the most interesting part of this article for you? Share your thoughts below!

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